Caring for your plants
Ideally, I find it best to plant in the Autumn time, mid-October through until November. That being said, there’s still time to lift and divide your small flowering perennials - these are your plants that flower in Spring and Summer and live for over two years.
Once divided and moved, give a good water and add an organic fertiliser to all of your plants, shrubs and trees. You can either use a well-rotted farmyard manure (it must be well rotted as fresh will burn your plants – find a farm local to you and ask if they have any you can use) chicken pellets are another good fertiliser to use. Once added, dig your fertiliser into the ground around your plants.
Next, add a good layer of mulch across all your borders, this will not only retain water but help immensely with keeping the weeds at bay.
If you have recently planted any new shrubs or trees, keep an eye on them for watering, this wind and sun will soon start to dry the soil out and you may need to water more often than you think.
Caring for roses
Rose care should have already started, and the final spring prune will have been carried out.
The roses here at Blenheim have all had a good rose fertiliser added and all beds have been mulched.
Although it's early in the season, Aphids are around and are a danger to your roses. An organic way of treating this problem is to either give your plant - mainly the tips - a good blast of cold water from your hose pipe, or use a little hand spray bottle full of a washing up liquid and water mix. Either process will need to be repeated every couple of days, then keep a close eye out.
Towards the end of April, vegetable seeds can be sown directly into the ground.
If you have a more sheltered position, the ground may be warm enough already to start sowing.
Peas, beetroot, carrots and salad crops amongst others can all be planted, and there’s nothing more rewarding than growing your own food!
Caring for your lawn
We are all envious of our neighbour’s lawns looking so good – well, the work needs to begin now!
Rake out all the moss that has formed over the Autumn and Winter months. Don’t worry, there will be a lot as I can testify - the lawns at Blenheim are full of moss this year. This job can either be carried out by hand using a springbok rake or perhaps a neighbour may have a scarifier you could borrow (this makes the job a lot easier).
The first cut of the year on your grass needs to be on a high setting; the grass will be thick and lush, so start on a high setting and very gradually drop this down.
Any bare patches of your lawns can have a sowing of grass seed applied now.
A Spring fertiliser that’s high in nitrogen can also be added after the above jobs have been carried out. Then, don’t cut your lawn for a couple of weeks, otherwise you will suck all the fertiliser up into your lawnmower.